Exposure to metals and morbidity at eight years follow-up in women of childbearing age

Isabella Karakis, Yael Baumfeld, Daniella Landau, Roni Gat, Nofar Shemesh, Maayan Yitshak-Sade, Ofir Tirosh, Batia Sarov, Lena Novack

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4 Scopus citations


This exploratory study was aimed to investigate the link between toxic metal content in women’s urine and their morbidity 2 years before and 6 years after the test. Concentrations of 25 metals in urine were analyzed for 111 pregnant women collected prior to delivery. All women were of Arab-Bedouin origin. Information on primary care and hospital visits during the study period was obtained. In a Poisson regression model, a health outcome was regressed over metal exposure and other factors. A Weighted Quantile Sum Regression (WQS) approach was used to indicate metals dominating in their possible impact on women's morbidity. Obesity was the most frequently diagnosed condition in this population (27.9%). Diagnoses in a neurological category accounted for 36.0%, asthma or respiratory—25.2%, psychiatric—12.6%, cardiovascular—14.4% and cancer or benign growth—for 13.5%. Based on WQS analysis, cancer and benign growth were mostly attributed to the increased levels of cadmium, cardiovascular outcomes were linked with lead, and obesity was found associated with elevated levels of nickel. Hematological, neurological and respiratory outcomes were attributed to multiple non-essential metals. The health and exposure profile of women in the study warrants a periodic biomonitoring in attempt to identify and reduce exposure to potentially dangerous elements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11429
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


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